How To Use Linux KVM To Optimize Your Windows 10 Virtual Machine

This tutorial will demonstrate that KVM and virt-manager are great tools not only to virtualize servers on headless hosts, but also for everyday desktop use. My job duties often require me to have a Windows 10 computer, in order to manage Microsoft specific tasks or software that runs only on Windows. However, I did not want install Windows on any of my hardware so the solution I came up with was to have a Windows 10 Virtual Machine that I can run on my main operating system. This Windows VM allows me to easily move it around differenct computers since…

3 Likes

I use Virtualbox since 2009 or so, but I’m looking at KVM and I recently run it in a Virtualbox VM to check the improvements in the GUI of virt-manager. I even run Windows Vista and Ubuntu 14.04 as guests on virt-manager/KVM. I did choose those, because I don’t have to worry about OS updates anymore.

I have moved my “work” to 5 main VMs, which incudes Windows 10 Pro. In total I have a set of ~50 VMs, but I do a weekly incremental backup/copy to my laptop, so I can run exactly the same software and VMs on my desktop at home and on my laptop on the road.

That copy operation is based on ZFS “send | ssh receive” and while ZFS is only copying the changed records and not the changed disk image files, that operation is efficient.

3 Likes

This was an amazing article! It gave me some ideas for optimizing my own Win10 VM. Great work!

Maybe for a follow up, you could show us how to present a graphics card to the VM?

2 Likes

I rely very little on Windows now and so have wondered if VM may be better for me than bare metal, especially given how unreliable I have found Windows update to be, including when dual-booting. Thanks for this guide!

1 Like

I’ve followed the tutorial and worked well… Now I’ll try to get the qcow2 disk for my work machine and use it on a Windows 10 VM here

1 Like